Daegu Views: Palgongsan and Donghwasa Temple

Two weekends ago, I took a short trip to the city of Daegu. Once I reached the city, my first stop was at my hostel: Danim Backpackers. For anyone thinking of staying in Daegu for a night or two, I would definitely recommend this hostel. It is located about three stops down from Daegu Station on the red line. Though some of the reviews said it was difficult to find, I would definitely disagree. Google Maps people! It's good stuff. The hostel staff was extremely kind and welcoming and the rooms were very cute. My only complaint is that there was only one bathroom with a shower, so in the morning you have to wait. Overall, definitely recommended for anyone looking for a decent place to stay on a short trip.

Once I dropped off my things I headed into the neon jungle to help a friend celebrate their birthday. It was a pretty chill night: I owned at flip cup and enjoyed one of Daegu's apparent specialties - a cocktail in a bag. What am I going to do when I go back to a place with open liquor laws... What are you saying officer? I can't walk around the street with a drink in my hand? Are you sure??

The next day I enjoyed a bacon, lettuce, tomato, and jam(?!?) sandwich, Skyped with my cousin, and then headed out to Palgongsan mountain. I loved this mountain! There is great hiking, several points of interest, and it is very easy to get to. Just take the red line to Ayanggyo Station, and then take the #1 bus up to the mountain. There are two major visiting sites on Palgongsan: one is the Gatbawi Temple and Buddha and it is located at the top of the mountain, the other is the Donghwasa Temple, which is home to the largest standing Buddha in Korea. I visited the latter.

Daegu mountain Palgongsan map.jpg

Donghwasa was stunningly beautiful and strangely peaceful, considering how many people were around. This effect was amplified by the fact that the entire temple had been strung with hundreds of paper lanterns in honor of Buddha's birthday. I was super lucky - that very day they had started taking all the lanterns down; however, the majority were still up so I got to see the (almost) full effect. Next time I head to Daegu I would love to make it to the top of the mountain to see Gatbawi, but Donghwasa by itself was definitely worth the trip.

Anyone looking for something to do when in Daegu, or simply to take a nice daytrip out of the city I would absolutely suggest heading to Palgongsan. As I said it is very easy to get to, the hiking is excellent, and there are several great cultural sites (there's also a cable car in case you want to skip right to the top. Next up... my adventures in Phuket!

Enjoy the beautiful view!

Morgan